The American Agent

Full Praise

“The fifteenth book (yes, fifteenth!) in the Maisie Dobbs series but don’t let that put you off. Maisie is the most engaging of sleuths and this is set in London during the Blitz. The mix of historic detail and whodunit as Ms Dobbs investigates the death of an American journalist works a treat.”
Red magazine, UK

“It’s 1940 and Britain is bearing up under the Blitz when a government agent asks Maisie to investigate the murder of an American war correspondent. ‘We can’t lay this one at Hitler’s feet,’ her contact says, pointing out that the killing took place at the reporter’s London lodgings. Well, yes, we can, because everything in this series turns on the psychological traumas of war. That’s what gives Maisie’s sometimes prosaic cases their sturdy backbone and air of urgency—that and Maisie’s own dynamic character.”
The New York Times

“As a volunteer ambulance driver in London in 1940, Maisie Dobbs aids the victims of the German blitz, in bestseller Winspear’s excellent 15th novel featuring the psychologist/investigator (after 2018’s To Die But Once). One night while on duty, she meets American journalist Catherine Saxon, who reports on the horrors of the blitz for radio listeners in the U.S. Maisie enjoys the company of the effervescent American, who unfortunately is found murdered in her flat the next morning. When Scotland Yard enlists Maisie’s help in solving the case, she’s reunited with Mark Scott, an American agent with whom she once had a brief flirtation in Munich. As the number of suspects in Catherine’s murder increases, Maisie’s romantic feelings grow for Mark, who’s also investigating the American ambassador to the U.K., Nazi sympathizer Joseph P. Kennedy. Meanwhile, Maisie seeks to adopt a war orphan. In Winspear’s capable hands, Maisie has evolved into a deeply sympathetic character. Readers will eagerly await her next outing.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“The London blitz is the backdrop to Winspear’s latest as the inimitable Maisie Dobbs investigates the death of Catherine Saxon, an intrepid American journalist determined to document wartime Britain’s hardships for the folks back home. Saxon and Dobbs are kindred spirits—both struggle to make it in a man’s world, and both are putting a brave face on their recovery from heartbreak. Dobbs’ hunt for the killer, aided by the dashing agent of the book’s title, is a lesson in English gentility; Winspear also offers an intriguing view of the WWII propaganda machine that sought to convince Americans to join the fray…. this is an immersive tale of wartime grit and grief. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed; the book can also cross over to historical-mystery buffs and devotees of British detective shows.”

“The sum total is a rich, detailed picture of life in war-torn London and slightly battered Kent, with a complex murder case playing out in the foreground. The main characters, including Maisie herself, will be familiar to the many fans of the series. In addition, there are several feisty young women, made confident and independent by the situation the war has thrust them into; and a handful of men who find this new breed of self-reliant women somewhat hard to fathom.
There’s no obvious culprit, and the solution to the crime came as a surprise to me, though the clues are all there to be picked up by those with sharper eyes. But winkling out the identity of the murderer is only half the pleasure of this richly evocative series; watching Maisie develop from shy housemaid to self-assured career woman and picturing the world she inhabits in its various twentieth-century phases, is equally rewarding.”
Mystery People Magazine, (UK)

“An intrepid British investigator continues her war efforts. September 1940 finds England nightly suffering the horrors of the Blitz.… Winspear (To Die but Once, 2018, etc.) advances Maisie’s inspiring activities, highlights the bravery of an embattled people during the Second World War, and intimates that lessons from that period have yet to be learned.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Jacqueline Winspear’s latest novel is romantic and emotionally intense in several different ways, as Maisie grapples with her unexpected role as mother, as well as a sudden shift in her friendship with Priscilla. It also offers an intense portrayal of how ordinary British residents attempted to manage their ordinary lives amid extraordinary and traumatic circumstances. Maisie solves the crime (naturally), but just as compelling is her own personal journey, which leaves her poised to begin yet another new chapter of her eventful life.”

“Winspear’s vivid story feels like a great Brit film of the 40s, perhaps with Ingrid Bergman as Maisie and James Stewart as American secret agent Mark Scott who wants Maisie’s help in unmasking a cartel of powerful US figures who sympathize with Hitler and aim to 
profit if Nazi 
Germany rules 
all Europe. By
budding US 
radio journalist
 Catherine Saxon, whose father is a senator who wants to keep the US out of the war, joins Maisie and Priscilla reporting on a harrowing shift, just hours before she’s found murdered. Her father hated Catherine bringing Britain’s heroic fight for survival to world attention, but how could it lead to murder? A mystery abounds as danger draws Maisie and Mark closer.”
The Peterborough Telegraph (UK)

“Books in the Maisie Dobbs series are always as much about the heroine’s ongoing journey as they are about the mysteries she solves, and it’s the big changes in her life that make this 15th “Maisie” book one of the best. Set in London during the Blitz, “The American Agent” puts Maisie’s intuition to the test as she tries to suss out the killer of an American reporter who seemed to be on the verge of becoming a female Edward R. Murrow.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“[Maisie Dobbs]… has solved sometimes harrowing cases with a mixture of intelligence, intuition, determination and compassion that makes he—and it’s an odd compliment, I know—one of the most soothing characters in crime fiction. Reading a Maisie Dobbs book is a little like spending time with an old friend you don’t see often enough, if your old friend’s gig is tracking down and capturing criminals.”
Tampa Bay Times

“The adventures of Maisie Dobbs continue and we have, amazingly reached the fifteenth instalment in the adventures of the WW1 nurse turned detective after her return from the front… it was nice to reacquaint myself with this splendid proto-feminist character whose energy and spark still shine brightly as her exploits span passing decades…Winspear has no equal in evoking past London splendours and agonies, while creating endearing characters with human foibles we all recognize. A worthy addition to the long-running series.”
Crime Time

“While working as a volunteer ambulance driver during the London Blitz, investigator Maisie Dobbs is joined one night by an American reporter, Catherine Saxon. The next morning, Catherine is found murdered in her flat. Asked to help solve the case alongside American investigator Mark Scott, Maisie finds herself entangled in political intrigue. Winspear’s clear writing and careful plotting seem guaranteed to please.”
Choice magazine

“While there is much here about London in the Blitz, with casualties mounting, Winspear holds us to the central plot point of identifying a killer who is likely to strike again….As we approach a truth that impinges on the innocent and guilty alike, the emotional pressure is as explosive as the falling bombs.”
Daily Mail, UK

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